Two months ago, Childish Gambino
released the politically and historically loaded visual for his track "This Is America
", a performance that highlighted issues such as police brutality, race relations, gun violence, and even suicide. The song that made him certifiably "woke". He blatantly critiqued America's cruel and monstrous ways, drawing over 329 million people to YouTube to witness his piece. Now…he's back…on two ridiculously lighter notes. Gambino surprised fans with a 2-pack of summer songs to preface his upcoming album, a move similar to Drake, who released a 2-pack of songs titled Scary Hours
before releasing his double album, Scorpion
. Maybe we'll also get a double album from Mr. Glover?
The summer-themed tracks, titled "Summertime Magic" and "Feels Like Summer" are unexpected, but very needed from the soulful hip-hop artist. Not only do the songs strongly differ from "This Is America", but they also stray far from his previous album, "Awaken, My Love!".
The upbeat tracks are more reminiscent of his 2014 EP, Kauai
…and they're also a little Bruno Mars-y. Maybe it's the word "magic", but when the beat drops and he takes us to the chorus in "Summertime Magic"….it's got Bruno written all over it. Maybe it's because we haven't heard this side of Gambino in so long, that we're compelled to compare the unfamiliar sounds to something else. But it's him, the Childish Gambino that we know and love. The track contains that infectiously happy and catchy vibe that you find in every Bruno song. It's very funky and soulful, the perfect combination for summer. And the steel drums…yes please. He embodies all the summer feels. Dare I say…he nailed it.
Lyrically, he could not have gone more simple and one-dimensional…you can look as hard as you want but you probably won't find any heavy symbolism or reference to deep political issues in this one. In fact, it kind of seems like a love poem you would write in 3rd grade. "You are my only one / Just dancing, having fun / Out in the shining sun / Of the summer". But honestly, it's summer, let's just pretend we're living in a 3rd grade love poem.
The second track "Feels Like Summer" is much slower, capturing some old school R&B sounds. Very, very vibey. Two months after attempting to give the world a wake up call, he notes in this track, "I'm hoping that this world will change / But it just seems the same". Maybe in November of 2020. Donald Glover for president?
We're still awaiting a release date for his upcoming album, and at this point, who knows what the record will contain. This fall, Glover will embark on a 18-city This Is America tour, potentially his last campaign under the name Childish Gambino.